Astronomy Knowledge Clips


Course Astronomy Observation Lab (2nd year bachelor Physics and Astronomy)
Lecturer Rudy Wijnands
Context Optional course wherein students learn to operate the APO telescope, observe an astronomical object and analyse the data
Challenge Astronomy heavily relies on a broad theoretical background, but students differ in learning paths and so some parts need refreshing
Intervention Produce a series of knowledge clips that cover the necessary concepts. All videos can be watched here
Evaluation Students could watch the videos and the teacher saved considerably time in the lectures
Related Topics Heterogeneity, Video

Interview with Rudy Wijnands

What was the issue you were facing in your course?
I found that some students lacked the background knowledge needed to understand some part of my course while other students were quite familiar with these background subjects.

What intervention was chosen?
Videos were made explaining the background information, allowing me to refer students to these video’s whilst having more time to teach new matters. I only referred the students to those video’s to get up to speed with the subjects.

Did it solve the issue?
Yes it did. The students watched these videos.

Are you going to use it again? What would you change in the next iteration?
Yes. I will use the same videos again next year and potentially also for other purposes (e.g., other courses, lab work). I might ask for more videos to be produced.

How much (extra) work did it cost you? Does it outweigh the benefits?
It cost a bit of work to discuss the context of the videos with the designer/maker (Huub Rutjes) and to watch and comment on earlier versions of the videos. However, it was definitely worth it because it saved considerable time in my lectures – I could focus on really new stuff in my lectures instead of repeating background knowledge that the students needed to follow my course.

Do you recommend this approach to other lecturers?
Yes. If others are in similar situations, this is a good solution to get the students up to speed.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It was a nice and pleasant experience.

Watch the videos